Tuesday, May 10, 2011

When Art Meets A Music Video

I have been complaining about the recent lack of originality and creativity in contemporary media.  There have been few, if any, non-formulaic choices in film, music and even art for several years.
A few weeks ago, a friend sent me a link with the message: "EPIC!!!"

I recommend that you watch it full screen.

"Iron" by Woodkid featuring Agyness Deyn:

My first reaction to "Iron" was an eloquent "WOW". The video is dramatic, theatrical and undeniably powerful.  Innovative visual poetry of black and white photography turned into motion, accompanied by the sound of brass and drums.

Some may recognize the archetypal symbolism and attempt to interpret the artist's journey, but only the artist truly knows what the imagery means to him. Aside from the camera work, the lighting and art direction, I also noticed the juxtaposition of war and a Courbette under saddle.  Iron is visually beautiful and is already being described as "epic pop". This type of music is not what I usually listen to, but the song is beginning to grow on me.

I had never heard of Woodkid, who turned out to be Yoann Lemoine.  A film director, photographer and singer/songwriter.  When I looked him up, I learned that many of us may be familiar with his commercial work as a music video director for popular artists.  His short films have won awards and Woodkid "Iron" is his first solo project as a musician.

His site can be found at Yoann Lemoine.

Update June 2011: I was able to find an interview Lemoine gave about the Woodkid Project, apparently the symbolism of the keys will be revealed in upcoming videos. In the interview Lemoine describes his interest in  the heroic journey and creating his own mythology, influenced by Tolkien, epic fantasy and video games.

For the full interview click here.


  1. The key motif intrigues me.

  2. Whoa ~ okay this is what I got ~ the keys are the symbol for St. Peter, Catholic church, Pearly Gates. The video ends with an alarming similarity to the Salt Lake City Mormon Temple with the mountains in the background. Don't yell if I got it wrong, this is my interpretation. ;~)

    1. It's not the Salt Lake LDS Temple. It IS the Bern Switzerland LDS Temple.

    2. Any idea what is signifies?

  3. Interesting: thanks for posting this.

  4. @dbs, same here. It's his logo. Significant or just a cool art design. Unlocking a secret?

    @Nubian, possibly. Except someone pointed out that Lemoine's keys are "upside down" and more intricate. As to the temple, maybe, or it's coincidence.
    I thought it had more to do with hero mythology or a symbolic representation of life's journey and fragility. Metaphor?
    I was trying to find an explanation by Lemoine, but couldn't. I only know that there will be a series of vids on this.

  5. @Claudia, hello, I thought so too.

    @Laoch, you're welcome. Considering it's a music video...it is unique. For some reason it made me think of Joseph Campbell and hero mythology. Any thoughts on why he called it "Iron"?

  6. That was pretty freakin' awesome. I want to know what the building was there at the end, it looks a great deal like one of the temples of my church.

  7. I said, before Blogger crashed, that I liked the movie and wanted to know what the building was at the end because it looks like one of my church's temples.

  8. Well it's been a while (stupid blogger), but now I can finally comment. I'm going to watch it again though.....
    I agree. EPIC!

    I love this kind of artmusic.

  9. found another Yoann music video, an animation. Think you'll like it. It's on my post.

  10. To all. I'm still waiting for the comments to be "restored", because I do not want them to get eaten again. Or I'm just lazy.

  11. @Sprite, same here. It's different isn't it? I saw, really liked it, very positive on how nature comes back.

  12. Antares- what a find! Beautiful artistry here. Maybe it's the b&w film, but I can't help but think of Robert Mapplethorpe and his stunning photography, which was also pure "visual poetry". I'm going to have to take a look at more of Lemoine's work. Thank you! :)

  13. @Jayne, not familiar with his work, will have a look.
    I was intrigued by Lemoine's symbolism, waiting for those comments to come back. Couldn't find much about him. Only know that there is a Woodkid Saga in the works.

  14. Kind of reminds me of the kind of films Salvador Dali experimented with in his early artistic career.

  15. Robert, yes, thought so too. Hope we get to see a return of creativity and exploration.

  16. i agree, this is beautiful.

    the building at the end is visually identical to the lds temple in Bern, Switzerland. it must have been from an old photo, because there is a golden statue of an angel with a trumpet on top of the building now.

  17. The key is an object symbolic of opening and closing powers. It represents knowledge, mystery, initiation, and curiosity.

    The crossing keys most commonly represents St Peter, the gatekeeper to heaven.
    The two keys in the papal insignia are in reference to the salvation, or the damnation, of our soul whilst we live this earthly life. If we are bound in the love of Jesus Christ on earth, then we will have our place in heaven. But if we allow ourselves to be loosened from Jesus Christ, then we will have no place in heaven.

    However the keys in this symbol have a cross cut out of the end and I found it hard to believe that Lemoine would have neglected to incorporate that if it was the intended reference.

  18. @unpronounceable, hello, yes, I read that. Although I'm not sure whether that was deliberate or he simply liked the architecture.

    @Kisuke, thank you for taking the time to comment. There is much speculation and interpretation about what the keys in this case actually might represent.
    It's his logo and he has the keys tattooed, but they're upside down, so it may have non-religious meaning.

    Nice to have an anime fan visit.

  19. Yeah, that's definitely an LDS temple at the end.

  20. if you like this you might like power by kanye west and the artist that did that video brambillo.

  21. @M.F. intentional?

    @Elphin, like power, reminds me of Tarsem. Haven't seen brambillo.
    Thank you.


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